Monday 30 September 2002

weekend update

Here's the big weekend round up, 'cos I know that you're all dying to know what I've been up to since Friday evening. Ah go on, you are.

Friday night, I was mostly sitting/lying/slumped/swearing on Paul's sofa trying to get comfy. As I mentioned on Friday, things kept cracking every so often, which was slightly disconcerting. I hate the sound of it - it's like nails on a chalkboard to me, and Paul takes great joy in cracking his joints in my ear to hear me go "Ewwwwwwwww!! Stop! Stop!". While the cracking didn't actually hurt (it was a just very, very odd sensation to feel things go *pop* in my back), my muscles were incredibly sore. In fact, my back is still sore today. This is apparently due to the fact that the osteopath has popped things back into place, and I'm used to being misaligned. My back hurt so much that I oscillated between feeling like crying and throwing up all night long. A bubble bath helped a bit, but this was a soreness I've never felt before; even worse than after going to the gym after a long absence. I'm being assured that this will get better, so we shall see.

Saturday was a quiet day (me in less pain, but still very sore) spent watching a DVD ("Blow") and making a fantastic dinner. Paul and I are really good in the kitchen together, although I admit that he's the one that comes up with the good ideas for what to make. He fancied my turkey roll-ups (a flattened turkey breast stuffed with a sauce made of chopped spinach, creme fraiche, garlic, dijon mustard, lemon juice, layered with a slice of smoked turkey breast meat and some grated cheese, rolled up and baked in the oven), and suggested side dishes of roasted veggies and roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Oh my good god, I have fallen in love with roasted garlic mash. We washed all this down with enormous glasses of red wine. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be with someone who can cook and who loves food as much as I do. Oh wait, I just did. Never mind.

Sunday we went to see "Road to Perdition", which was brilliant. Tom Hanks is excellent, conveying so much intensity with few words. A stellar cast, directed by Sam Mendes of "American Beauty" fame. For dinner, we went to Sakura (billed as "Northampton's only Japanese restaurant") as Paul had noticed it the other day and was interested in trying it. Being of Japanese ancestry, I am always up for a good roll of sushi and a big plate of tempura, so I was really looking forward to dinner. The staff and owner are Chinese, which is definitely not an issue with me (the place where my Mom and Dad get sushi from in Toronto is run by Koreans), but it was slightly disappointing to not see the familiar round faces of people who look like my relatives. Yeah, I am a bit homesick these days. We were seated at a little round table with big upholstered chairs while we looked through the menu and had a drink. Although not completely extensive, the menu was quite varied with choices from tempura and sushi to tempanyaki (food cooked at your table a la Benihana) and teriyaki. I really craved my "comfort food" (sushi and tempura), so Paul let me pick out some starters to share. After making our choices, we were led to a big table with an enormous grill in the centre. We tried in vain to hold on to slippery pieces of freshly-fried tempura (vegetables coated in a light egg and flour batter) with acrylic chopsticks, and then tucked into some futomaki sushi (a layer of seaweed and rice rolled around slices of crab stick, cucumber, and ginger) where Paul got into the wasabi (Japanese horseradish) paste. Our main course was tempanyaki, fried up on the table in front of us by a chef who probably hadn't really done this sort of thing much before. The chef who was cooking food for the large table next to us must have done this before, as he did the whole "show" including juggling salt and pepper shakers and catching one in his chef's hat. I had scallops, Paul had swordfish, and we watched the chef flip and fry meals for the entire table (you're seated at a large table with other people, which is actually kind of nice). Although I got splashed with a bit of hot oil at one point, and the waitress accidentally threw my rice across the table, the meal was absolutely gorgeous. After we were done our meal, we were led back to the big chairs and little table where we sipped more green tea and ruminated over our excellent dinner. The owner, who had chatted to us before the meal, came over again to make sure we enjoyed our meal. We will definitely go back.

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